A better understanding of how microbes contribute to the health of the bee will help us understand how to make a healthier bee—not just in terms of probiotics, but in terms of management.

I. Newton

Work from Newton’s lab to create the first metatranscriptome of the honey bee gut has shed new light on how organisms work together and apart from one another to carry out the dominant function of the gut microbiome—carbohydrate metabolism. Results from another study suggest a model in which the honey bee queen gut microbiome is colonized by bacteria from workers’ glands—rather than from maternal inoculation as in other animal microbiomes.

Irene Garcia Newton is an assistant professor in the Microbiology Program within the IU Department of Biology.

Irene Newton discusses her work on the honey bee